Tag Archives: masculinity

Mobile Masculinities project film viewing in April!

The Men’s Anti-Violence Council, in collaboration with the Career Leadership Academy (CLA) class at The University of Iowa, created a film project about masculinity. Mobile Masculinities was created by MAC member, Derrais Carter, in order to create discussions about masculinity among men on campus and in the community. In addition to creating interpersonal discussions, the video clips also serve as online resources.

You don’t need fancy recording equipment or studio space to have authentic discussions about masculinity. You can use a camera on almost any mobile device (e.g. cell phone camera, laptop webcam, tablet, etc.) and record men discussing masculinity.

The CLA students were incredible in supporting, advertising, recruiting, and editing material for the project. There will be a public viewing of the project on Tuesday, April 10 in Room A of the Iowa City Public Library starting at 6 p.m. There will be a panel discussion afterwards about masculinity in our community. The event is free and open to the public. Click on the image below for a larger version of the flyer. 

You can see our first Mobile Masculinities video clip with Jackson Katz here!

10 Responses to the phrase “Man Up”

You can check out more of Guante’s work at his website and his YouTube Channel.

Jackson Katz on Mobile Masculinities

MAC member, Derrais Carter has created a new project for the Men’s Anti-Violence Council called Mobile Masculinities. The goal is to create a critical discussion about masculinities and anti-violence work through online videos.   

During the University of Northern Iowa’s Men’s Institute last week, Derrais got the opportunity to ask the keynote speaker, Jackson Katz a few questions. As many of you know, Dr. Katz is an expert in the movement to get men involved in reducing gender violence. He wrote The Macho Paradox and was responsible for creating the first film I ever watched about masculinity, Tough Guise. See the video below for the first installment of Mobile Masculinities with Jackson Katz!

Upcoming Men’s Institute at the University of Northern Iowa

Save the date! On Wednesday, October 26, the University of Northern Iowa is having a one day institute on engaging college men in anti-violence initiatives. MAC members attended the institute last year and it was definitely worth it. This year should be even better.

The folks at UNI have lined up some amazing talent. Jackson Katz is the keynote speaker along with presentations by  Elizabeth Miller and Feroz Moideen, who are involved with Coaching Boys into Men, and Harry Brod, a longtime ally, advocate, author, and expert on men and masculinity. In addition to the featured presenters, there will be breakout sessions from experts and allies from across the state and country.

Click on the links below to download the institute flyer and registration form. We hope to see you there!

Men’s institute registration

Men’s institute flyer 

Dad’s Poem

Check out the video below of Abe Becker performing his powerful piece, Dad’s Poem, for the Men’s Story Project. I love me some Men’s Story Project and I am always moved by their brilliance and passion. I hope that more of us can get behind their mission. To strengthen social norms that support healthy masculinities and gender equality, and to help eliminate gender-based violence, homophobia and other oppressions that are intertwined with masculinities, through ongoing events of men´s public story-sharing and community dialogue.

Iowa MAN website launched!

After much hard work by the folks over at the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV) and Iowa MAN members, the official Iowa MAN website launched. The website looks great. The most important thing about this event is that it signifies a statewide effort to engage men about the issues related to eliminating violence and creating safer communities.

Below are Iowa MAN’s vision and mission:


We envision a community where men are actively engaged in confronting men’s violence against women and girls and all its forms, and where all members of society are engaged in promoting healthy, peaceful, and respectful relationships.


As an organization, we will eliminate men’s violence against women and girls by pursuing knowledge from those most affected by it.  As a call to action, we will work to inspire all men of Iowa to partner with women to promote healthy and respectful relationships in their homes, neighborhoods, and the community, to model peaceful and respectful behaviors with each other, and to empower our youth with similar tools and skills necessary to live and expect a lifestyle free from abuse.

You can visit the Iowa Men’s Action Network website here.

Male feminism and growing pains

Give it up to The Root for posting two articles this month about the experiences of African American male feminists!

The first post was by Byron Hurt regarding his reasons for being a feminist.  Not only does Byron create wonderful films like Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes and I am a Man, but this piece offers a personal perspective on childhood experiences that drew him to feminism and how the principles have impacted his own life. You can learn more about Byron and his work on his webpage and follow him on Twitter. You can find the full post here. Below is a quote from the piece.

I decided that I loved feminists and embraced feminism. Not only does feminism give woman a voice, but it also clears the way for men to free themselves from the stranglehold of traditional masculinity. When we hurt the women in our lives, we hurt ourselves, and we hurt our community, too.

The second one by Mychal Denzel Smith chronicles his academic evolution regarding feminism and how the actual manifestation into personal change was imperfect. Not only does Mychal pay homage to some amazing feminist writers and theorists, but he highlights the importance of street harassment too! My favorite part of this post is his honesty about struggle in implementing feminist and anti-sexist principles to create behavior changes. You can read his entire post here. If you want more Mychal, you can find his work on the Grio and follow him on Twitter.

Even those among us who wish to see it eradicated are still products of that sexism, and as such are prone to replicate it without thinking. It sounds like a weak excuse, but it’s true. We have all internalized sexist thinking, and it takes more than reading a feminist essay or two to achieve a complete reversal. I am working every day to recognize where I am deficient in my own thoughts and behaviors, and as difficult as it may be, I know that it is worth the effort.

New blog by Michael Kaufman

Michael Kaufman, author, educator and co-founder of the White Ribbon Campaign, recently launched a redesigned blog at www.michaelkaufman.com with numerous resources and articles about engaging men, gender equality, masculinity and violence prevention. I’ve heard Michael speak about these issues and was impressed with the content, humor and delivery of his message.

One of the first posts that I read on Michael’s website was a post about a documentary by Marc de Guerre called The End of Men.  Check out a promo of the documentary below.

How Can I be a Man When I’ve Never Seen One

That is the title of the excellent piece written by one of our newest MAC members, Anthony Ferguson Jr. Anthony originally wrote this piece for his blog, Young, Black & Educated, but it was so good, that we wanted to repost the entire piece here on the MAC blog. Check it out below.

As I write this I ask myself, “How can I be a man when I’ve never seen one?

From the time we are boys, all the way up to the time we become men, the term, “boys will be boys” is used as an excuse for the male species to get away with just about anything. We are groomed from a very early age by family, friends, and our peers to act a certain way. No tears, no fears, and no emotions. We are taught that being emotional is a ‘girl’ thing, and even more so a thing for the weak. In our society where we glorify the concept of ‘survival of the fittest’, we police ourselves so that we seem manlier. Instead of being ourselves, we look for those things that will prove to others that we are all man.

Our society tells us that money, power, and sex is the equation for absolute manhood. It teaches us that solving our problems through psychical altercations and out toughing another man is the way to prove how much of a man we really are. If a kid doesn’t play sports, listen to the right kinds of music, and doesn’t stick his tongue out every time a female walks by, he is considered less of a man. We use words like, fag, homo, p-ssy, weak, and girly to downgrade other men who just don’t seem to fit inside the guidelines for being what we consider a man. We are in essence emasculating each other to the point where this artificial manhood is something that is desired by all, but unattainable unless a person is willing to become almost completely savage to fit the criteria of what our society deems a man.

So how can we break this curse that has plagued many young men?

We must first admit there is a problem. Next our community has to teach its young men how to connect to another person on an emotional level. Many young males in the African American community grow up without a father or any other strong male figure in their lives and they never learn that telling another man that he loves him is okay. Instead what he sees is love only being giving by the women in his life, and he equates love with being feminine. This creates an even bigger problem for the males in our society. We now have our men thinking that being feminine is a bad thing and a sign of weakness so when they actually get involved with a female it’s hard for that men to accept her as his equal. He views her as an object, someone who has been put on this earth to serve and cater to his needs. This outlook of inferiority towards females is what leads us to the overwhelming number of broken homes in our communities. We are in a vicious cycle that is crippling, and preventing the black family from thriving. We must ignore what society tells us a man is, and we must embrace actual manhood. We do so by teaching boys that a man takes responsibility for his own actions, and a man isn’t afraid to admit he is wrong. We teach him that a man works hard to provide for his family and community. More importantly, a man leads by example.

You can find the original post here.

Have you seen Tom Matlack’s mangina?

I frequently link to content on The Good Men Project. I often agree with their vision and appreciate their transparency about their journey in discovering what it means to be a good man. I appreciate their willingness to struggle with this concept while doing what most of us do. They try and be the best friend, father, partner, brother, son, and coworker they know how to be while always aware that they could be better. They struggle with being a good man, a real man, and a strong man. They make mistakes, learn and try again. The important piece to me is that they are willing to celebrate their successes and share their struggles.

However, I also love it when we can inject some humor and satire into this discussion. A common knee-jerk reaction to men who aren’t willing to swallow society’s definition of a real man and who are willing and able to criticize and reflect on these concepts, is to label them a misandrist traitor. This is why I loved Tom Matlack’s piece entitled Have you Seen My Mangina?

It was a perfect illustration of gender policing and many of the ridiculous restrictions that are placed on men. I love the way Tom described his confusion during his journey to decipher the meaning of the term and whether or not he is a mangina or has a mangina? The examples that he solicited from his friends and colleagues were hilarious. It was great to see his eventual reclamation of the word and feeling of pride in being a man who was comfortable being himself. That flexibility, humor and compassion is a great example to set for other men and boys. I still cringe at the term mangina and all of the potential negative connotations about the inferiority of females and femininity. That term is not what I like about this piece. In fact, that term is what I abhor about this piece.

I’m advocating for more examples of men who embrace attitudes, behaviors and other men who perform in ways that are not often appreciated or tolerated by society. If more men could move past feeling ashamed and being shamed by others because of constantly failing rigid, impossible and arbitrary rules of manood, we would have a lot more healthier and happier men.

It would be nice to live in a world where individuals were not bombarded with derogatory and hateful words when they step outside of the socially constructed box. Until then, I hope that more individuals can reframe these words and celebrate the diversity and flexibility that allows them to define who they are.


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